Mary E.


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Newburyport, MA - Mary “Eddie” E. (Greenwell) Hefron, age 88, of Newburyport, passed peacefully in her sleep, Wednesday evening, January 2, 2019, exactly the way she had hoped it would be.
Mary Edna Hefron was blessed with a long and meaningful life, which she engaged and enjoyed to the fullest.
She was born on September 26, 1930 to a large farming family in Curdsville, Kentucky. One of eight children of the late Clement and Elsie Greenwell, she lived on the family farm in rural Kentucky until Nursing School and the Army Nurse Corps carried her into other worlds. She met and married her husband while in the army in Oklahoma. After discharge in 1954, they relocated to New England where they raised their family. No matter where she lived, however, her farming history and Kentucky roots were always at the core of her being and were the source of the integrity, strength, practicality, loyalty, love and faith that she brought to every day and everyone.
Throughout her life she was known by many names: Mary, Edna, Mary Edna, Toots, Eddie, Mom, Ma, and Gram or Grammy. She had the good fortune of being cast in many staring roles during her well-lived life: wife, mother, friend, nurse (an RN for 50 years!), sister, daughter, co-worker, neighbor, grandmother/ great-grandmother, and Roman Catholic. She loved and appreciated each of these roles and performed them all with sincerity, intelligence, integrity, passion and compassion. She was a loyal wife, a devoted sister and daughter, a trusted and valued co-worker, a good neighbor, a beloved gram, a faithful Catholic and a true friend. The adjectives that would describe her two favorite roles - Mother and Nurse - are too numerous to list but they consist of all the best words and are superlatives. Nurse and Mother were the very essence of her being and the gift she gave without hesitation or reservation to the world. Many are the stories of her healing advice and nurturing, soothing embrace.
Mary Edna Hefron lived with zest. She loved fiercely, worked hard, played joyfully, taught earnestly, and cared deeply. She was loyal, reliable and generous. There was little she enjoyed more than a good joke (except maybe a winning scratch ticket). She was stubborn and strong willed and at the same time tender, thoughtful and kind. Everyone has stories of her doing exactly what they needed at exactly the right time.
Mary Edna’s living faith and love for God are her crowning achievement. She daily offered roses to the blessed mother gracing a small altar in her room and prayers and rosaries throughout each day for the well-being of her loved ones and the world. Spirituality informed every aspect of her existence and on the strong wings of Spirit she flew quietly and safely out of this world into the arms of God. Welcome home Gram!
She is survived by a son, Michael J. Hefron and wife Karen of Waxhaw, NC; two daughters, Rita K. Heron and Marian E. Hefron both of Newburyport; seven grandchildren, Heather Smith, Anna, Elizabeth, Katie, Michael, Matthew, and Brinn Hefron; two great-grandchildren, Kira and Zachary; a sister, Rita Ridgway; companion Joseph Cote of Newburyport along with extended family, dear friends, and her faithful K-9 companion, Lola. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her beloved husband, Joseph F. Hefron, Jr.; a son, Paul E. Hefron; five brothers and a sister, Larry “Bucky” Greenwell, Joe Glenn Greenwell, Hank Greenwell, Clement T. “Tink” Greenwell, William Otto, and Claudia Thurman.
Visiting hours will be Sunday, January 6, 2018 from 4 to 8 p.m at Elliott, Woodworth & Rogers Family Funeral Home, 35 Green Street, Newburyport. A Funeral Mass will be held Monday, January 7, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at the Star of the Sea Parish, Beach Road, Salisbury with a luncheon at Loretta’s in Newburyport to follow. Burial in the Veteran’s Section of Old Hill Cemetery, Newburyport, will be in the Spring. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Star of the Sea Parish, 11 School Street, Amesbury, MA 01913.
Published on January 5, 2019
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